Content v Technical SEO
SEO or search engine optimisation is simply ticking the boxes so your site shows up on search engines. This isn’t a dark art and there’s loads of information out there on what’s needed. If you’re looking for a place to start, then check out our post on basic on-page SEO. Fundamentally, you need to be looking at having one page per keyword that you want to be found for and a page for every geographic location that you want to be found in. This bit’s not complicated and people seem to get it.
The next part isn’t as easy, because there is conflicting information out there and best practice can be subjected. This part relates to what SEO strategy you should use to deliver the required results. Each web developer and SEO specialist has different experience and different skills. This means that there are different approaches to SEO and it is often related to what stage the website is at before the SEO work needs to be done.
For example, new websites will almost certainly need to have a content focused SEO strategy. On the other hand, an established website might benefit more from a technical SEO strategy.
The SEO conundrum
Provided some fundamental SEO rules are followed, it is possible for websites to perform well and outrank the competition purely by having lots and lots of content – the bigger the site the better. However, quality is better than quantity and a site with an emphasis on technical SEO will likely need less content to perform. Seems like a no brainer right? Just go for the technical route?
Not quite. You see, at the end of every website is a business or individual expecting some level of results. They want enquiries coming through or the phone to ring. The reality is, if you have a small site (let’s say 10 pages) and it is optimised to death. Then it doesn’t really stand a chance against a bigger site (let’s say 30 pages) that has been optimised a bit, but isn’t perfect.
With this in mind, if you were to ask whether it would be better to focus your time on perfecting the SEO on existing blog posts or to use the time to write new blog posts, opinion would be divided. Of course it’s better to have perfect technical SEO every time but you can also get there with brute force. At the end of the day, we operate in a world where people consume content. Just get more content out there!
Even at our end this is still up for debate. In an ideal world, time wouldn’t be an issue and a jam packed, fully technically optimised site would be the preferred choice. Instead, we have found that it is effective to add content with some level of SEO and then allow it to rank naturally. After seeing where it settles, then we look at the technical SEO requirements. Most of the time, you get instant results then just tickle things along with a second visit if needed.
Unfortunately, this approach means that there is ongoing work required and it can be a movable feast. However, it does lend itself to websites to incrementally grow over time. Once a core site has been built, batches of content and SEO work can be carried out as required.
There is no right or wrong answer with this one, but it does highlight the complexity of SEO. The best option is to choose a direction and stick to it. A solid plan is better than no plan at all.